Thurman becomes unified welterweight champion, wins split decision over Garcia
By Hector Franco
March 4, 2017
Brooklyn, NY - In front of a crowd of 16,553 at the Barclays Center Keith Thurman defeated Danny Garcia via split decision to become the unified WBA and WBC welterweight champion. Thurman will be viewed by most as the number one fighter in the division. The scores were 116-112, 115-113 for Thurman, and 115-113 for Garcia.
The fight started off fast as Thurman decided to attack from the opening bell. The Florida native was able to land some right hands and hurt Garcia with an overhand right that backed him up against the ropes. The second round was a much closer round that could have gone either way. Thurman landed a right hand at the end of the round. Round four was another close round where once again Thurman stunned Garcia, this time with a left hook.
Thurman dominated the fifth round until the last ten seconds where he stayed on the inside for too long and was caught with a combination from Garcia. For most of the round, Thurman put on a master class landing straight right hands from the outside.
The sixth round was a better round for Garcia who landed hard counter punches throughout the round. The second half of the fight saw the pace slow down as Thurman utilized more lateral movement. Garcia was unable to cut the ring off and wasn’t letting his hands go. Many of the close rounds may have gone to Thurman off of activity alone. Throughout there were moments where both men would exchange punches landing hard single shots.
Garcia stayed with his game plan to go to the body with some success. Nothing that Garcia landed seemed to hurt Thurman. In the last two rounds, Thurman used movement the entire round picking his spots to attack. These rounds may have gone to Garcia who was the aggressor, but both men were relatively even in power punches landed. Thurman mostly controlled the pacing and geography of the fight.
This was the biggest victory of Thurman’s career making him the first unified and undefeated welterweight champion since Floyd Mayweather. Fans will now be looking forward to bigger fights for Thurman. These include the Pacquiao-Khan and Brook-Spence winners to become the undisputed champion at welterweight.
(Feature Photo: Harry How/Getty Images)